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MRSB Royal Society of Biology
Ph.D. Cell biology/Regenerative Medicine (Newcastle University)
M.Res. Medical and Molecular Biosciences (Newcastle University)
B.Sc. Hons. Neuroscience with Psychology (University of Aberdeen)


Dr Darren Johnson is a cellular biologist with expertise in neuropharmacology and stem cell regulation. At the University of South Wales he teaches and researches cellular pathology and neuropharmacology with particular specialisms in dopamine signalling relevant to Parkinson’s Disease, addiction, and reward behaviours.

Darren’s experience includes work with the Northern Institute of Cancer Research (Newcastle University) where he investigated paediatric neuroblastoma. For his PhD he studied human keratinocyte signalling during wound repair, and developed full-thickness human skin equivalents for complex investigations into the wound repair process.


Module Leader:

BI2S113 – Frontiers in Biology
BI2S93 – Cellular Pathology and Disease Processes
BI3S71 – Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology
BI3D105 – Research Project (Biological Sciences)
BI3D104 – Natural History Research Project

Teaching Contributions:

BI1S103 – Human Anatomy and Physiology
BI1S62 – Big Game Tracking (South Africa)
BI1S100 – Microorganisms and the Dynamic Cell
BI1S106 – Human Growth and Development
BI2S103 – Applied Physiology
BI2S119 – Human Form and Function
BI2S114 – Clinical Physiology
BI2S112 – Ethology
BI2S117 – Patterns in African Biodiversity


Selected Publications:

Forgham H, Johnson D, Carter N, Veuger S and Carr-Wilkinson J (2015) Stem Cell Markers in Neuroblastoma — An Emerging Role for LGR5. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 3:77.

Johnson DL, Jahoda CA, Reynolds NJ. Lysophospholipid signalling as a therapeutic target for human skin wound healing: role of GSK-3 beta/beta-catenin signalling. In: 44th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Dermatological Research. 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark: Nature Publishing Group.

Johnson D., Jahoda C.A.B., & Reynolds N. J. (2014) Lysophosphatidic acid-mediated signalling during human epidermal keratinocyte migration. British Journal of Dermatology 170(4).

Jans R., Mottram L., Johnson D., Brown A., Sikkink S., Ross K., & Reynolds N. J. (2013) Lysophosphatidic acid promotes cell migration through STIM1 and Orai1-mediated Ca2+ imobilisation and NFAT2 activation. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 133(3):793-802. Nature Publishing Group.


Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)
Royal Society of Biology (RSB)
British Neuroscience Association (BNA)


Darren’s current research projects include:
- The bioelectrical mechanisms of large scale tissue regeneration with a particular focus on the nervous system
- Destruction and cognitive consequences of dopaminergic neurons in response to addictive substances
- Repair of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s Disease
- Rogue stem cell signalling in paediatric neuroblastoma

Areas of Expertise

Neuroscience, Molecular Psychiatry, Cell Biology, Bioelectricity, Regenerative Medicine, Pharmacology.


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